450 challaned for driving auto without meter in Chandigarh
Following the Punjab and Haryana high court’s orders (issued on October 3), the traffic police have so far issued 450 challans against auto drivers plying without working meters.
Deputy superintendent of police (DSP, traffic administration) Kewal Krishan said, “After the high court (HC) orders, we had conducted a week-long awareness campaign from October 4. The traffic police personnel were sent to all major intersections.”
The DSP said , “The drive was extensively started on Sunday evening as multiple nakas were deployed in the city to specifically check the autos. As many as 190 challans were issued on Sunday night, while 450 challans were issued from October 10.” “The drive will continue and more nakas will be set up in the coming days,” he said.
“The inspectors have been instructed to remain calm while issuing the challans. Also, if a passenger asks an auto driver to turn on the meter and he refuses to do so, a call can be made on the traffic helpline 1073. The traffic police will take action based on their complaints,” he said.
Inspector Ashok Tuli, who was on duty on Sunday night,said, “The auto drivers whose electronic meters were not functional were also issued challans. Also, the drivers not wearing uniforms were taken to task.”
Auto drivers seek time
After the drive on Sunday, many auto drivers visited the Traffic Lines in Sector 29 on Monday morning. An auto driver, Harcharan Singh, who was challaned said, “There are only a few places to get meters installed in autos and following the traffic police drive, the rush at such places will increase.”
Another auto driver Anil said, people still prefer to ride without using the meter. “Even passengers prefer to ride without turning on the meter. The first kilometer costs ₹14 and people prefer to commute by pooling and paying ₹10. For longer drives, their bills will be more as pooling won’t be allowed.”
File your complaints
Complaints can be made on state transport authorities helpline 0172-2700159 (office hours only) and traffic police helpline 1073 (24x7)
The challans are being be issued under Section 177 of the amended Motor Vehicle Act. First time offenders will have to pay ₹500, while subsequent offences will invite a fine of ₹1,000.
There are around 4,500 registered autos, with 4,000 registered with State transport authority, Chandigarh and 500 with Punjab which are plying in Chandigarh, however as per sources, the actual number of autos plying in the city is higher.